Acts 11:3
Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised.—The words cannot well be translated otherwise, but the Greek (literally, men with a foreskin) is somewhat more expressive of scorn than the merely negative form of the English. The same word is commonly used by St. Paul where he discusses the relation between circumcision and uncircumcision (Romans 2:25-26; Romans 4:9-10; 1Corinthians 7:18-19, et al.).

11:1-18 The imperfect state of human nature strongly appears, when godly persons are displeased even to hear that the word of God has been received, because their own system has not been attended to. And we are too apt to despair of doing good to those who yet, when tried, prove very teachable. It is the bane and damage of the church, to shut out those from it, and from the benefit of the means of grace, who are not in every thing as we are. Peter stated the whole affair. We should at all times bear with the infirmities of our brethren; and instead of taking offence, or answering with warmth, we should explain our motives, and show the nature of our proceedings. That preaching is certainly right, with which the Holy Ghost is given. While men are very zealous for their own regulations, they should take care that they do not withstand God; and those who love the Lord will glorify him, when made sure that he has given repentance to life to any fellow-sinners. Repentance is God's gift; not only his free grace accepts it, but his mighty grace works it in us, grace takes away the heart of stone, and gives us a heart of flesh. The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.And didst eat with them - See the notes on Acts 10:13-14. 3, 4. Thou wentest in … But Peter rehearsed the matter, &c.—These objectors scruple not to demand from Peter, though the first among the apostles, an explanation of his conduct; nor is there any insinuation on Peter's part of disrespect towards his authority in that demand—a manifest proof that such authority was unknown both to the complainers and to himself. This is the objection they make against Peter, that, contrary to the tradition of their elders, and precept of their wise men, its had familiarly conversed with the Gentiles: see Acts 10:28. This they look upon as piacular, although no conversation in order to the gaining of the Gentiles unto God was ever forbidden, but only such as might withdraw the Jews from God.

Saying, thou wentest into men uncircumcised,.... Into the houses of such, and lodged with them, and familiarly conversed with them:

and didst eat with them; which, according to the traditions of the Jews, were unlawful; See Gill on Acts 10:28 they say nothing about his preaching to them, and baptizing them, because these were so manifestly agreeable to the commission of Christ, in Matthew 28:19 and yet how these could be without the other, is not easy to say.

Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 11:3. ἀκροβυστίαν ἔχοντας: the expression intimates the bitterness of the opposition. Bengel curiously comments “benigne loquuntur”. On ἀκροβ. see especially Kennedy, Sources of N. T. Greek, p. 111.—καὶ συνέφαγες αὐτοῖς: this was the real charge, the violation of the ceremonial law, cf. Acts 10:28; see on the intolerant division between Pharisaical Jews and Gentiles, Weber, Jüdische Theol., pp. 59, 60; Edersheim, Jewish Social Life, pp. 26–28. There is therefore nothing in the statement to justify the objection raised by Zeller and others against the whole narrative of the baptism of Cornelius (so Wendt, edition 1888 and 1899). But if the complaint against Peter was based not upon the fact that he had baptised Cornelius but had eaten with him, then we can see a great difference between the narrative here and that of the Ethiopian eunuch in chap. 8. In the latter case there was no question of the obligations of the ceremonial law—the baptism was administered and Philip and the eunuch separated, but here the whole stress of the narrative lies in the fact referred to in Acts 11:3, so that if the eunuch and Cornelius both belonged to the class of “half-proselytes” their cases are not parallel. But even if they were, in other respects there would still remain a distinction between them. It was one thing for the Ethiopian to be received into the Church of Christ by the Hellenist Philip, but it was another thing—and a marked advance—when the principle asserted by Philip was ratified by the Apostles of the circumcision in the case of Cornelius. Wendt, edition 1899, pp. 181, 198, and Lightfoot, Galatians, p. 300.

3. Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised] The expression shews the strength of feeling against what Peter had done. The men with whom he had mixed are not called Gentiles, but the uncircumcised, the word of greatest reproach in the mouth of a Jew.

and didst eat with them] Among men with whom there would be no regard to the character of the food, nor to the way in which it was prepared.

Acts 11:3. Ἀκροβυστίαν ἔχοντας) They speak in a kindly tone: they do not call them uncircumcised, but having the foreskin. With this comp. (The sons of Jacob speaking in a conciliatory tone to Shechem and Hamor) Genesis 34:14, ἀνθρώπῳ ὃς ἔχει ἀκροβυστίαν.—εἰσῆλθες και συνέφαγες, thou wentest in and didst eat with) An accusation heretofore plausible, and that accusation of a grave character and twofold. But Peter had just reasons for going in; and after he had gone in, he got reasons also for eating with them.

Verse 3. - Thou wentest in, etc. The circumstance of his eating with Cornelius and his friends is not expressly recorded in Acts 10, but almost necessarily follows from what is there stated. It had been seized upon as the chief sting in their report by those who brought the news to Jerusalem. Observe the total absence of anything like papal domination on the part of Peter. Acts 11:3Men uncircumcised (ἄνδρας ἀκροβυστίαν ἔχοντας)

An indignant expression. See Ephesians 2:11.

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